Lizzy McAlpine Uncovers Timeless Truths on "Older"

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BY Megan LaPierrePublished Feb 13, 2024

Sometimes, a voice will stand out in a sea of voices. Oftentimes we don't exactly know why. Sure, things like technical vocal prowess or power can be arresting, but they're not everything. A voice can transcend even its literal existence as this intangible sonic thing, floating in the ether; born of a body but seeping into the person's words and melodies just as distinctly.

Lizzy McAlpine has one such voice. Or so I believe, anyway, and have since I first heard her 2020 debut, Give Me a Minute. Now signed to RCA, she's announced her third studio album, Older, previewed today by the title track.

A pared-back piano ballad, it's a stunning reminder of her singularity of voice. With subtle tape hisses and plodding chord changes creaking like floorboards as McAlpine sighs breathily, "I wish I knew what the end is," it feels like we're accessing something from the core — of who she is, and glimpsing something that stretches far beyond.

Getting older is far from effortless, and the singer-songwriter cuts the natural ease of her instrument with her pen, scrawling simple truths about the cyclicality of life into something profound. I don't make this comparison lightly, but McAlpine recalls Joni Mitchell's gold-standard "Both Sides Now" with the opening lines: "Over and over / A carousel ride / Pay for your ticket / Watch the red moon climb."



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